The Green Party in government will prioritise reducing climate pollution to net zero in New Zealand by 2050.
The commitment follows the release of a cross-party report outlining how New Zealand could eliminate climate pollution this century. The ‘Net Zero in New Zealand’ report, commissioned by a cross-party group of MPs, shows a fundamental shift is needed in the way we farm and the way we power our transport system and heavy industries, if New Zealand is to compete in the 21st Century.
“We are the last generation with the power to stop runaway climate change. Taking action to eliminate climate pollution today will change the lives of every generation that follows – for the better,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“This report has shown it’s entirely possible for New Zealand to have a prosperous future that doesn’t come at the cost of our environment – a future where Government supports the creation of successful and sustainable businesses and farms.
“This is a political breakthrough. For the first time there is a shared understanding across all parties in Parliament about the nature of the challenge in front of us. The debate now is about how ambitious we want to be in living up to our responsibilities and in seizing the opportunities of a low-carbon economy.
“The report presents three scenarios in detail, two of which would be a vast improvement on New Zealand’s current pathway.
“The report also presents a fourth scenario which shows that, while ambitious, it is actually possible for New Zealand to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
“The Green Party has embraced this vision of a net zero emission economy for some time. We are heartened by the Report’s conclusions and are looking forward to debating the report in the House.
“We’re talking about a fundamental shift towards backing high-value, sustainable farming and away from more intensive agriculture that comes with high levels of water and climate pollution. We can have higher farmgate returns with less intensive stocking rates, high-value organics, more diverse land uses, more forests and continuing expansion of horticultural production.
“We know many businesses and farmers are up for this. They want successful businesses that also deliver for people and the environment – and they want a government that leads on climate change,” said Mr Shaw.